Inflation and the Poor

Posted: 15 Oct 2000

See all articles by William Easterly

William Easterly

New York University - Department of Economics

Stanley Fischer

Bank of Israel; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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Using polling data for 31,869 households in 38 countries and allowing for country effects, Easterly and Fischer show that the poor are more likely than the rich to mention inflation as a top national concern. This result survives several robustness checks.

Also, direct measures of improvements in well-being for the poor - the change in their share of national income, the percentage decline in poverty, and the percentage change in the real minimum wage - are negatively correlated with inflation in pooled cross-country samples.

High inflation tends to lower the share of the bottom quintile and the real minimum wage - and tends to increase poverty.

JEL Classification: E310 O110 D310 I300

Suggested Citation

Easterly, William and Fischer, Stanley, Inflation and the Poor. Available at SSRN:

William Easterly (Contact Author)

New York University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Stanley Fischer

Bank of Israel ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Jerusalem, 91907

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

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Washington, DC 20431
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